Motorcycle group mourns 3 riders' deaths

Michelle Theriault Boots

Three people who died in a motorcycle collision on the Glenn Highway on Saturday were a Wasilla couple and an Anchorage woman well known for their involvement in a local Harley-Davidson riding group.

Alaska State Troopers identified the victims Sunday as James D. Carlyle, 53, and Sabrina A. Carlyle, 47, of Wasilla and Elaine J. Loew, 64, of Anchorage.

Two couples -- the Carlyles and Elaine Lowe and her husband, Paul -- were riding in tandem on a sunny and mild spring evening, heading south from Palmer, according to troopers.

At about 8 p.m. a vehicle in the opposite lane stopped to make a turn when it was struck from behind. The force of the accident pushed it into the opposing lane, where the four motorcycles struck the car.

Paul Loew was the only survivor of the four motorcycle riders.

The deaths of the three riders left the Southcentral Alaska motorcycling community grieving Sunday.

The riders killed were members of the Anchorage and Mat-Su chapters of the Harley Owners Group, or H.O.G.

On Sunday, H.O.G. members held an impromptu memorial in Spenard, said Paul Ramage, the general manager of Wasilla's Harley dealership.

"We had pictures and memories," he said. "We celebrated their life."

Ramage said the two couples were close friends who often spent weekends on the road together.

Both had been active in the Southcentral motorcycling scene for more than a decade, he said.

"They were just stand-up people, very active in the community and the (Harley) group. That's what they do," he said.

All of the victims had children and grandchildren, he said

Ramage said Paul Loew had been married to his wife for 42 years.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.